Hamas to free Fatah prisoners after Gaza flareup
GAZA CITY: Gaza's ruling Hamas movement is to release all
prisoners from the rival Fatah movement detained in connection with the
political dispute between them, a spokesman said on Sunday.
“The Hamas government has decided to pardon all cases against Fatah
members which are related to the internal division since 2006,” Hamas
government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said at a press conference in Gaza
He said the government had decided to set up a committee “to
implement this decision and establish a new stage of reconciliation.”
Interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said there were 22 Fatah
members in jail in Gaza.
The move comes three days after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas
telephoned Gaza's Hamas premier Ismail Haniya to congratulate him “on
his victory and (offer) condolences for the martyrs.” The conversation
between the two rival Palestinian leaders came after an
Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel ended on Wednesday eight days of
fighting in and around Gaza, in which 166 Palestinians and six Israelis
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights welcomed the decision, and in
a statement said it hoped the move “will push forward the process of the
Palestinian reconciliation talks, and that it will mark the end of the
division, which has been ongoing for 6 years.”
Tensions between Hamas and Fatah have been high since 2006, when the
Islamist movement won the legislative elections in Gaza.
Hamas seized power the following year, ending a power-sharing deal
with the secular Fatah party of President Mahmud Abbas.